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Re: Bug#239952: kernel-source-2.6.4: qla2xxx contains non-free firmware

Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com>:

> It seems rather clear that those "source" files are just machine code
> for the device firmware, and as such, are not the prefered form for
> modification.

Agreed. So the files are not DFSG-free.

> That pretty much precludes the linking of that code with the rest of
> the kernel and/or forming a derivative work of the kernel and our
> distribution of such a resultant work, well before we even get into
> the DFSG §2 discussion.[1]

The situation is somewhat ambiguous. One might argue that the device
driver code is not part of the kernel even though it's included in the
source tree for practical reasons and that there is therefore no
problem with the GPL. However, there's no point in discussing that
question in debian-legal as the code has to be separated in any case,
because it is not DFSG-free.


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